Skip to main content

Full text of "To The Lighthouse"

See other formats


figure of his wife reading stories  to the little
boy; filled his pipe.   He turned from the sight of
human ignorance and human fate and the sea
eating the ground we stand on, which, had he
been able to contemplate it fixedly might have
led  to  something;    and  found   consolation   in
trifles so slight compared with the august theme
just now before him that he was disposed to slur
that comfort over, to deprecate it,  as if to be
caught happy in a world of misery was for an
honest man the most despicable of crimes.    It
was true; he was for the most part happy; he had
his wife; he had his children; he had promised
in six weeks' time to talk " some nonsense " to
the young men of Cardiff about Locke, Hume,
Berkeley, and the causes of the French Revolu-
tion.   But this and his  pleasure  in  it,  in  the
phrases he made, in the ardour of youth, in his
wife's beauty, in the tributes that reached him
from   Swansea,   Cardiff,   Exeter,   Southampton,
Kidderminster,  Oxford, Cambridge—all had to
be deprecated and concealed under the phrase
" talking nonsense," because, in effect, he had
not done the thing he might have done.   It was
a disguise;   it was the refuge of a man afraid
to own his own  feelings,  who could not say,
This is what I like—this is what I am; and rather
pitiable and distasteful to William Bankes and